AUSTIN, Texas – They say everything is bigger in Texas and after the entire Austin City Council voted to cut $150 million from the city’s police department budget, they went bigger on murder … a lot bigger. It may only be July but Austin just surpassed last year’s total homicides. Forty-eight people have already been killed in Austin.
Lt. Brett Bailey, who serves APD in the homicide and aggravated assault unit, tells the American-Statesman that he doesn’t expect the numbers to improve anytime soon, “with August and early September typically being the most violent months of the year.”
After the defunding effort by Austin politicians, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) slammed the city council’s decision at the time saying that “some cities are more focused on political agendas than public safety,” and that “Austin’s decision puts the brave men and women of the Austin Police Department and their families at greater risk, and paves the way for lawlessness.”
The current pace will likely break an all-time high for murders in Austin. In 1985, the city had 52 homicides for the year.
Austin is not alone. While the murder rate increased dramatically in 2020, where 45 of the 50 largest cities saw a sharp rise.
The Council on Criminal Justice’s (CCJ) pandemic crime report recently said that 2021 has seen a sixteen percent increase so far in 2021 and a forty-two percent increase from 2019 according to Breitbart News.